Drum on Holding the Neocons Accountable for Iraq

In the middle of all the last-minute silliness of the midterm elections, Kevin Drum takes note of something more serious: The Neocon rehabilitation project.

The neocons have always been idealists, and their ideals saw full flower in the Iraq war. A show of force in one country, plenty of threats against its neighbors, a disdain for multilateral action, and an occupation designed to be a showpiece of conservative ideology rather than a serious attempt at reconstructing a society. That’s what the neocons wanted, and that’s what they got. The rest is details.

The failure of Iraq is inherent in the naive idealism and fixated ideology of neoconservatism, and shame on us if we let them get away with suggesting otherwise. This is one rehabilitation project that needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

23 Responses to “Drum on Holding the Neocons Accountable for Iraq”

  1. TeacherVet Says:

    This is certain to send enkidu over the edge again, so apologies for that in advance.

    The NY Times, in its usual last-minute effort to affect an election, published an article on Friday in which they condemn the disclosure/publication of Saddam’s sensitive documents. That disengenuous (inconsistent) condemnation of leaking is ironic enough, but the true irony is in the actual result of their statements.

    In the effort to further their anti-Bush propoganda, they validated the Saddam documents that they had claimed to be false in the past, inadvertantly verifying that Saddam was intent on rebuilding his nuclear weapons programs – with development to be completed as early as 2003.

    iraqdocs.blogspot has translated lots of the documents, and evidence of justification for the removal of Saddam based on his intentions against the U.S. is readily available, as well as his alliance with some of our “allies.” It seems that “Bush lied” is the biggest lie of all, although enkidu surely can google for folks who have “interpreted” the documents in another light.

    I returned from Tennessee (where our efforts seem to have been successful) this morning, so lots of study is yet to be done; but the preliminary reading is, at the very least, interesting and revealing thus far. Has the NYT been infected by JFnmK’s foot-in-mouth disease?

  2. jbc Says:

    Yes, TV, Saddam was close to achieving a nuclear weapon… in 1991. And the Republican Congress, intent on scoring political points, foolishly published reams of documents captured inside Iraq, including information that had (rightly) been classified, and that almost certainly has been very useful to other countries that want to succeed with their own clandestine nuclear weapons programs. And this was exposed by the NYT (thank goodness), and as a result the information was taken down.

    I’ve read too many of your comments to believe that you’ll educate yourself about issues like this. You’re too ready to listen to people who cater to your preconceptions to be anything other than an enabler of your own self-deception. And no, I’m really not interested in getting into it with you here.

    But for others reading this, the story TV refers to is a really good example of why the Republican Congress, and the Republican machine currently running the country, is way overdue for a serious whupping out behind the electoral woodshed.

  3. TeacherVet Says:

    1991? Hmmm.

    In 1998 the NY Times ran an article, “An Iraqi Defector Warns of Iraq’s Nuclear Weapons Reason,” co-authored by Judith Miller, mentioning Saddam’s use of the same furnaces that were used to melt uranium in the previous Iraq nuclear program.

    There are documents dated 1999-2001 that talk about Saddam regime projects to re-build some of the nuclear program facilities such as the Radioactive Waste Treatment Station and Radio-Chemistry labs which were part of Iraq’s previous clandestine nuclear program.

    A 2001 document states that Saddam personally approved his Iraqi Atomic Energy Agency to re-use those same furnaces mentioned in the NYT article.

    Numerous documents as late as 2002, and all after UN inspectors left in 1998, refer to requests for various precursors for Chemical Weapons.

    The translated material is extensive, and includes Saddam links to foreign terrorist organizations, coordination with the French in expionage and concealment, evidence that the “harmless” (as reported in our press) 500 shells of mustard gas was still of high purity, orders to bury chemicals in the desert (especially around Fallujah), production of materials that must be concealed and protected because they are prohibited by the UN, acceptance of shipments of hundreds of suicide bombers and IED experts to enter the country via Syria in March 2003, etc.

    Yes, I realize that dismissing the documents as invalid is convenient, but the NYT has now validated those documents, most of which are dated after UN inspectors left in December 1998. The “1991 argument” is false, and is outdated.

    The NYT supposedly objected to publication of classified documents that could be used by other countries in the development of nuclear weapons, but the blueprint and step-by-step instructions for such development in readily available online at nuclearweaponarchive.org, where it is much better defined than in those “dangerous” Saddam documents. The premise of their article is false, and their objection to publication of classified materials is exposed as false by their own recent history. Who do they want to win the war on terror? The question is rhetorical.

  4. enkidu Says:

    I haven’t seen anything that proves Saddam had anything dangerous after we squished him like a bug in GW1. Those docs were from 1991 as far as I have heard. Please provide something substantive (ie other than Drudge, Malkin or powerline) to back up your claim that this indicates Saddam was working on nukes in ’98.

    A piece of paper is mighty easy to shove thru a laser printer and the resulting print may claim just about anything. If I find a document that Saddam owned the Brooklyn bridge, will you right wingnuts buy it back from him? And really how hard do you think it is to forge some of this stuff? The black ops Cheney freaks have had 3 years to dream up their lies. I can see you are huffing that stuff down faster than Pastor Ted’s Excremental Weekend Adventure.

    Your desperate ‘belief’ that Saddam had real WMDz is now falling back to “well, there is this memo that he would like to build some, someday, somehow” (and I’d like a pony too!)

    Yet you don’t see anything wrong with publishing a ‘how to’ primer on WMDz on ‘the internets’… most of it in Arabic. Yet the dozen or so docs that detail making a nuke are in English… wow what a co-inky-dink!

    I am laughing all the way to the ballot box. Glad you wasted your time in TN Macaca-san. Why you helped support the most racist campaign in recent history is beyond me, but the cognitive dissonance must keep you warm at night (that and the meth).

  5. TeacherVet Says:

    Those docs were from 1991 as far as I have heard.” Of course you won’t hear anything about it CNN or the NYT, but it’s not hard to find evidence that that rumored “fact” is false, enkidu. Go to iraqdocs.blogspot.com (no www) [not Drudge, Malkin, or powerline], read, and pay special attention to the dates of the documents (not memos). Most cover the time period between the month after inspectors left in Dec 1998 and the month before the Iraq War began in April 2003. Typically, with no supporting evidence, you accuse “black ops Cheney freaks” of forging documents that were confiscated in Baghdad shortly after the war began. Another great conspiracy, eh? Sorry, but Cheney doesn’t have the forgery skills of Mapes’/Rather’s operatives.

    I’m also glad we wasted our time in TN, where a virtual tie has gone to a double-digit margin in the precious polls. I only wish we could also have spent time exposing lies in Missouri and Virginia, but since polls that over-sample Democrats have those races in a dead heat, they should be safe.

    Are you suggesting that documents written in English will impede anyone who desires step-by-step instructions on developing and building a nuke? Maybe Saddam himself will hang around (heh) long enough to help “decode” the English language.

  6. treehugger Says:

    I only wish we could also have spent time exposing lies in Missouri and Virginia, but since polls that over-sample Democrats have those races in a dead heat, they should be safe.


  7. TeacherVet Says:

    That’s good, treehugger. I hope you’re not a Little League coach, but I think we’ll be able to live with the loss.

    All I want is what’s best for my country, and if the election result satisfies that goal, or if less vitriol results, I’ll be quite happy. If either side decides to be vengeful, I won’t be, and I certainly hope Republicans will learn from and not be as spiteful as they’ve been treated the last six years.

    Btw, I like Koop’s mustard with my crow.

  8. treehugger Says:

    Nope, I’m not a little league coach. I am however, a very, very, very happy and giddy American that got a kick outta your constant projections of Democratic defeat. I know it’s wrong to throw it back in your face, but I really don’t care. My party has been beat up and smeared by the other side for so long, I honestly really don’t care.

    What to ensure continued defeat at the polls? you used to threaten whenever someone questioned Bush’s competence.

    At least all that time you spent in TN paid off and now they won’t have to be stuck with a black rep., which would have been a first in over a hundred years.

    Does it feel good to be associated with one of the most negative and demonizing campaigns of the season?

    “Harold, call me”

  9. TeacherVet Says:

    treehugger: You, in particular, have usually displayed the ability to discuss forthrightly with honesty, without exaggeration and vitriol. I understand the despondency that comes with consistent rejection by the voting majority, and I truly cheer your happiness with the election results, but please try to maintain your usual integrity.

    Your party has been “beat up and smeared” for so long? For the past six years the Republican Party has been on the defense constantly, and some of the defensiveness has justly been offensive. The lies and false accusations have been greatly unfounded and malicious. Although I could cite hundreds of examples, one will suffice for now: A full year of “certainty” in constant, false attacks in the Plame incident.

    I can’t make sense of your second paragraph, but when have I ever “threatened” anyone? Come on, now.

    You’ve read enkidu’s false charges of racism so much that you believe them. Tsk-tsk. I worked diligently, daily for weeks, and successfully, for the election of the first black sheriff in our Southern state. The Republican Party itself has it’s foundations in the anti-slavery movement, and has consistently stayed that course throughout it’s history. In the sheriff’s campaign I compiled a fairly comprehensive list of historical evidence to that effect, and that list was instrumental in winning the hearts of our white Republican voters. I would gladly copy the list for your perusal.

    Typical of Southern states, we have learned to co-exist quite harmoniously in our communities, and that is why we didn’t see the vague racism in the much-publicized (and immediately retracted) ad. If that single quote from a lone commercial leads one to believe it was “one of the most negative and demonizing campaigns,” ….. wow.

    I had two primary objections to Harold Ford: (1) He was a professional politician, born and bred to that profession, and (2) His liberal voting record was comparable to that of the most extreme leftists already in the Senate, and I’m a conservative. Setting a record “first in over a hundred years” was not a consideration in my decision. I looked at his record and his heart (via his conservative claims vs his voting record), not his skin color. Did you?

    Yes, racism exists. It always will, in all parts of the country and the world, and among people throughout our political spectrum. Both Dems and Pubs have worked to minimalize and contain it, but racism and hatred will always survive; that is unfortunate and shameful, but realistic. I sincerely wanted Steele in Congress. Did you? I suspect not, and I further suspect that it would almost certainly be false to accuse you of racism for not supporting a black man.

  10. TeacherVet Says:

    Now it turns out that the actress who was hired to say “Harold, call me” was of Mexican descent. Of course, that won’t be believable until it’s announced by one of the reliable>/i> MSM anchors – don’t hold your breath.

    The black candidates in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio? I was for them. Were you? If not, does it insinuate racism on your part? Would it be wrong if I charged racism by anyone who opposed them? So many questions, so few honest answers… probably because it requires some soul-searching into the honesty of recklessly playing the race card.

    No, I’m not guilty of hitting the refresh button; I simply returned to the site an hour after my last post.

    George Allen is now ceding. Watch, and learn how to accept defeat.

  11. TeacherVet Says:

    Sorry about all the italics; only reliable should have been italicized.

  12. treehugger Says:

    Hey I wasn’t trying to accuse you of racism, I was just pointing out that he would have been the first black in a long time, that’s all.

    But unfortunately you were working for a campaign that used race (successfully) as a card – that ad was targeted at a specific group, and we all know why. To try to dismiss it is ridiculous. And to come out a month after the fact and say well, that white chick was actually of mexican decent is really quite desperate and that type of trickery explains why your party just lost. Please, keep it up untill 2008…

  13. TeacherVet Says:

    Her Mexican descent does not excuse the blatant racism insinuated by her winking invitation for a phone call, but it certainly is ironic.

    Btw, Khameini “Calls American Elections A Victory For Iran,” and al Queda in Iraq seems pleased by the election result, vowing to carry the battle to our mainland once we pull out of there. Is that the “new direction” we’ve heard so much about?

  14. treehugger Says:

    Come on TV, you know better than that. Like a bunch of clowns running around in the desert care about American democracy and election results.

    If anything they’re just upset because now that Bush can’t carry out anymore crazy ideas the price of their oil won’t be so sky high.

    So contrary to your ridiculous notion, the results of the US election will actually harm the people you mentioned and their countries because oil will continue to fall in price, thus reducing the coffers of said countries which in turn will hinder their ability to finance terrorism.

  15. treehugger Says:

    …and what do you know, oil hit its lowest price of 2006 today…


  16. TeacherVet Says:

    Crude oil prices have dropped because of the election? Sorry, but it’s simple supply and demand, and the election was irrelevant.

    I thought Bush personally lowered OPEC prices, then just forgot to raise them back following the election. Of course, he also forgot to reset the global thermostat after the election, so he still owes us few devastating hurricanes.

    A bunch of clowns running around in the desert don’t care about American democracy and election results? Then why did they state a resolve to increase casualties (successfully) in the month prior to our elections in order to affect the elections (again, successfully), then celebrate the results?

    The simple fact is that they care greatly about the division of our people because that divisiveness is their only chance of winning. As Osama famously said, Americans are cowards who will submit, retreat and surrender if the going gets tough – and, unfortunately, he’s right about half of us.

  17. treehugger Says:

    OMG, you keep getting more absurd by the day!!

    Ramamdan was the reason for the increased attacks, not the election, just like every October. TV, you need to stop twisting things because its making you look like an idiot. Don’t be upset that just because you wanted to “stay the course” and your fellow countrymen and women thought otherwise, it’s called democracy.

    I can’t believe you agree with the logic of terrorists. You are contantly quoting Osama and other fanatics. You will say anything without even giving it some thought. We are done talking. You are a a lost cause. I’m so greatful there are less of you in power now.

    The end.

  18. treehugger Says:

    One last thing. Even though I really can’t stand you, and people like you, I respect your right to your opinion and I, and other “liberals”, promise you that with our new found power:

    1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you “unpatriotic” simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.

    2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be “different” or “immoral.” Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love — it’s a wonderful gift.

    3. We will not spend your grandchildren’s money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It’s your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.

    4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.

    5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we’ll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.

    6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.

    7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.

    8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.

    9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren’t much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.

    10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you — and your employees — that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.

    11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don’t put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs (“Blessed are the poor,” “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “Love your enemies,” “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” and “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn’t just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism — starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.

    12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.

    I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans — and for the rest of the world.

  19. TeacherVet Says:

    That attitude, “we sink or swim as one,” would have been refreshing over the past several years.

    1. “We encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.” You forgot to add that, when we do so, we will be labeled as nazis.

    2. “We will let you marry whomever you wish.” I can be persuaded along the lines of this argument.

    3. “We will not spend your grandchildren’s money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends.” Obviously, you’re not talking about death taxes.

    4. “We will bring your sons and daughters home [from Iraq], too.” Thanks, but when we are subsequently attacked, how will the perceived nation of cowards be able to convince allies to join in our defense?

    5a. “When we… America… universal health coverage.” Will it differ from the other Western countries with regard to years-long waiting lists for medical solutions that are currently available immediately, and will the socialist system treat retirees (non-contributors) be treated equally to active “state contributors” to the government treasury?

    5b. “We’ll make sure [stem cell research] advances are made available to you, too.” If you’re talking about adult stem cell research, those many advances are already available to all of us. Embryonic stem cell research is already being conducted. No positive results to date, although lots of researchers and their lobbyists are making big bucks.

    6. Thanks for the clean air and water; and, again, the environmental scientists and their lobbyists surely thank you, too.

    7. “Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil….” we will hunt him down; unless he shoots back, in which case we’ll surrender.

    8. You will continue to support the abortion industry, and when your political base continues to diminish, you’ll wonder why.

    9. “We will not take away your hunting guns…” etc. I happen to agree with your contention about automatic weapons. Handguns? Check the steady rise of violent crimes after citizens were deprived of the tools of personal defense in their homes in London.

    10. “When we raise the minimum wage…” As Teddy said, “We’ll raise it, and raise it, and raise it, and raise it…” – continue until sober – anything for votes! Interesting personal experience today. My druggist hires 15 high school kids every day for 4 hours each, at minimum wage. Most stand around idly, but he’s trying to provide them an income. He says that when the minimum wage is raised to $7.25, he’ll have to dismiss 5 of them. When it goes to $10, he’ll only keep 6-7. The “laid off” kids will have to look elsewhere for jobs with other employers facing the same dilemma. The 2% of our population that presently work for minimum wage will be better off? Will the government force businesses to hire a set number of employees?

    11. “We will respect your religious beliefs…” That will certainly be a refreshing change! Will be still be allowed to ring church bells, or do they constitute too much of a threat?

    12. “We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich.” Hmmm. At least 90 Democrats were among the number who accepted about $500,000 in Abramoff money (including Murray, Rangel, Reid, Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, Clinton and Kerry), plus another $500,000 to the DSCC, the DCCC, and the RNC. Where will you start? Will there be anyone left in Congress?

    Alcee Hastings? William Jefferson? I’m trying to perform an important duty as the loyal opposition.

  20. enkidu Says:

    As to Godwins Law – you repeatedly call anyone who supports a woman’s right to choose a Nazi. You don’t want to be associated with the Nazis? Please stop acting like one.

    It is amazing how ever ill in society or the world at large is all the fault of them Evil* LIEbruls… clean air and water=scientists and lobbyists! grrrrrr! “death taxes” that siphon some of the loot from the very rich=grrrrrr! We rethugs failed to stay on target and kill Osama=Dems r surrender monkeys! grrrrrr! Abortion legal?=prepare for political irrelevancy! grrrrrr! Of the 17 reps and senators under indictment, fully 15 of those are Rs=TV drudges (intentional miss-spelt wyrd for all the grammar nazis – oooops invoked Godwin again! grrrrr!) up some crap from 15 years ago! grrrrr! Funny how the vast majority of the illegal Abramoff money went to R pols, yet you fail to list a single one (how many in jail so far?). CREW took Murtha to task over his unindicted Abscam problems (he did actually refuse the $50k btw).

    Wait until the Dems subpoena power uncovers the sickening cesspool of Iraq war profiteering. grrrrrr! hahahahaha! Loser.

  21. TeacherVet Says:

    I hope your supposed published books are legible.

    Yes, the illegal Abramoff money went to twice as many Republicans as Democrats. Seems to be logical, since he was a Republican. Yes, more Republicans have been jailed; typical response from Republican leadership is to punish our own wrong-doers, as opposed to Democrats’ reactions.

    Yes, Murtha refused to take $50,000, with an inference that the offering was too small, and without slamming the door on future, greater offers. The man is dishonest, scum, and he’s in the right party. Even Foley could have saved his political career if he had simply switched parties.

  22. enkidu Says:

    go fuck yourself you toothless old loser

  23. TeacherVet Says:

    And, a Happy New Year to you, too. Are all “independents” so defensive of all Democrats, or are you a unique creature?

    I’ve always suspected that you call yourself an independent to impress some little office girls with your deep thought, research and analytical prowess… as evidenced by your thoughtful response. Congrats! You make Dick Cheney look like a saint!

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